Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, has narrated the tale of how he was allegedly attacked by security operatives in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, just days before the state’s July 14 gubernatorial election.
Confusion enveloped the state early on Wednesday when security operatives reportedly stopped the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from holding a campaign rally at Fajuyi Park by firing gunshots into the air.
This reportedly led to the governor attempting to lead supporters back to the venue before he was rebuffed by security operatives who fired shots into the air again, with reports that teargas canisters were also fired.
The PDP soon raised alarm on social media that Governor Fayose was ‘teargassed’ and attacked by officers who took over his office at the Ekiti State Government House.
Amidst all of the confusion of the day, the governor later reemerged sporting a neck brace alongside a sling that was tied around the wrist of his left hand, claiming that he was beaten. He protested that if anything happens to him, the Nigeria Police Force should be held responsible.
He said, “…they used the butt of the gun to hit my neck and kicked the balls of my deputy governor and the candidate of the party.
“The secretariat was locked down, they stole all his posters and for me to explain, they started shooting sporadically and shot into the government house and shot tear gas at the people. So many people were wounded.
“If this is the democracy we’re looking for in 2019. There is danger ahead. I’m having severe pains. If anything happens to me, the police must be held responsible.”
The governor later addressed supporters of the party to allege that police officers have instructions to kill him or the party’s candidate, Prof Kolapo Olusola, aka Eleka, in order to influence the election.
“They said they have instructions to kill me or the candidate of the party. They said they have the results already they’re going to announce on Saturday. The Lord will not allow them,” he said.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Operations, Joshak Habila, told journalists on Wednesday that the police only tried to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the state ahead of the election.
He said, “We are not here to usurp the authority of Governor Fayose. We are not here to rubbish him because he represents the people; but we are not going to allow any unauthorised rally that can trigger violence in the state.
“You can see that the state is tensed up. As law enforcement agent, we must be proactive and take actions that can prevent crisis rather than trying to quell it after it might have broken out.”
PDP vs APC in Ekiti
With Fayose’s second term as Ekiti governor set to end, his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola of the PDP, is one of the biggest candidates in the state’s upcoming gubernatorial election. He is set to battle a former governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election scheduled to take place in three days.
The PDP has accused Fayemi, also a former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, of being a stooge for the federal government, controlled by the APC, to take Ekiti State by any means necessary.
Fayose is one of the most vocal voices of opposition in the country and is set to contest as president in the 2019 election against incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he has a very public feud with.